Jesus commands us to make disciples everywhere we go, baptizing them into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything He commanded (Matthew 28:19–20). Baptizing people into the name of Jesus is about establishing them into their new Trinitarian Identity:
- God is our Father, and we are His family.
- Jesus is our Lord, and we are His servants.
- The Holy Spirit is our Guide and Sender, and we are His missionaries.
- God is our Master, and we are His stewards.
These four statements of identity are true of a disciple of Jesus.
A disciple of Jesus is one who worships Jesus (follows and submits to Him in all of life), is changed by Jesus (living out his or her new identity), obeys Jesus, and leads others to do the same (makes disciples of Jesus). Key to this new kind of life is understanding our new identity in Christ.
WE ARE A FAMILY
We are children of God who care for each other as a family.
We are God’s chosen people—His family—set apart to live in such a way that the world would know what He is like. Through faith in Jesus we believe we are children of God and brothers and sisters with one another. As God’s family we see it as our obligation to care personally for the needs of one another, both physically and spiritually. We disciple, nurture, and hold each other accountable to Gospel life together. We do this through regularly gathering together for celebration, consistent involvement in a Fight Club, and loving others as the Father loved us.
WE ARE SERVANTS
We are servants of Jesus who serve Him by serving others.
Fully God–fully human, Jesus took on the posture of a servant. He gave His life, even unto death, so others could experience salvation, peace, and restoration. Jesus said, “I am among you as one who serves. . . .” All those who follow Jesus are called to serve in the same humility. For us this means joyfully submitting to Jesus as Lord, to the leaders He has placed over us, and to one another as we also serve whomever God brings into our lives. We do whatever He leads us to do, whenever He tells us, and wherever He wants us to do it.
WE ARE MISSIONARIES
We are sent ones empowered by the Spirit to show and share Jesus to others.
God sent Jesus to take on human form on the earth and live as the true image of God in our world. He worked, ate, and interacted among the people, living in such a way that those around him could see and experience what God was truly like. Jesus was filled with and led by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the good news of God with power and bring healing, freedom, and new life to those he served. Then, after dying on the cross for our sins, the Spirit of God raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus promised the same Spirit would give us power to do the same things Jesus did. All those who belong to God have the same Spirit and are missionaries sent and empowered by God’s Spirit to proclaim Jesus and show what God is like in daily life.
WE ARE STEWARDS
We are stewards of God’s economy for His glory and the redemption of creation.
The essence of stewardship is finding one’s place in God’s economy of all things. Responsibility through stewardship is to join with the Son, in the power of the Spirit, to fulfill God’s purpose in creation and redemption. Biblical stewardship is holistic and missional, touching all areas of life and employing every legitimate vocation in service to Christ. This is what it means to make the kingdom of God visible and tangible to the world. When the church embodies its future hope of redemption, it cooperates with God’s work of renewal in the world, enacting its responsibilities in such a way that social shalom is repaired and the message of salvation is preached.